100 Scope Notes
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Covering the Newbery (#27): The Twenty-One Balloons

Most of the older Newbery-winning covers are in need of an update, but I’m not so sure about today’s candidate needs much help…

1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

My Redo:

Side by Side:

Verdict: Yep, it’s pretty tough to beat the original here. The blog New Cover did a pretty bang up job of it, though. Your thoughts?

Click here to read previous Covering the Newbery Posts.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Yep, the original has your cover beat–but the cover version on New Cover is excellent. I think I like it better than the original. This is one older Newbery, however, that is NOT losing readers because of an out of date, ugly cover.

  2. Right you are Ed. The New Cover version is nice, isn’t it?